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Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 64

David Ray Agyekum has been named one of Comedy Centrals Comics to Watch (page available at 4pm today) for 2012. David and the other comics on the list will be live tweeting about the show today at 4pm. You can follow David on Twitter for more.

This week, Comedy Month Philadelphia continues with the 5th Annual Philly Sketchfest. The festival kicks off tonight at 8:00 at The Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) and continues through Saturday night. Tickets are available online.

The Philadelphia Citypaper ran a cover story last week on comedian Corey Cohen. The article covers Cohen’s background in comedy and current work as a promoter and host of The Big Show at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.)

This Sunday, Gregg Gethard‘s comedy-show-based-around-a-theme Bedtime Stories will make its return to Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) This month, the theme of the show will be Revenge and will feature performances from many Philly comedy favorites. The show will also feature the final episode of The Holding Court Podcast, a comedy and basketball show co-hosted by Gethard and Aaron Hertzog.

Nominations are now open for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. Performers may nominate up to three choices in 13 different categories for the awards, which will be held on January 13, 2013 at World Cafe Live. Nominations will be open until November 30.

WitOut is now accepting submissions from performers and comedy fans for our Top Five of 2012 list series. We are encouraging anyone to write about their favorite moments, shows, performers, sketches, quotes, or anything at all to help us recap and remember the past year in Philadelphia comedy.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 63

This week, Comedy Month Philadelphia kicks off with the 8th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival. This year, over 40 groups from cities all across North America will perform at the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) More information about workshops can be found and tickets can be purchased online.

Comedian Amir Gollan has been chosen as a semi-finalist for The Andy Kaufman Award and will perform in the semi-final showcase at Gotham Comedy Club in New York on Monday, November 12. The award was created to preserve the legacy of one of America’s most unique and influential performers in a dynamic way. The prestigious award honors Andy Kaufman’s creative spirit while simultaneously shining a spotlight on promising performers with the potential to impact the evolving culture of comedy.

Johnny Goodtimes interviewed Philly comics Chip Chantry and Doogie Horner about the issue of making jokes that poke fun of the Hurricane Sandy situation. You can read their thoughts on the subject here.

The full schedule for the 5th Annual Philly Sketchfest is now available online. This year, the festival will take place from November 12-17 at The Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) as part of Comedy Month Philadelphia.

This Tuesday, Free Improv at Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) returns with a night of performances from Deleted Scenes, Gaper Delay, TTNL (Those Two Nice Ladies), POUSAAIT, Malone, Bad James, and Shame Parade. They also promise to keep you updated with the latest election coverage so you don’t miss out.

The Improvised Musical Suggestical is holding auditions for a one-night performance to be held in March 2013. Auditions will be held on November 18 from 1-5pm at  A & E Studio (1233 Vine Street, Philadelphia). Interested performers can contact Claire Halberstadt at to set up an audition timeslot.

Two new open mics will debut this week. First, this Tuesday will mark the inaugural Comedy Open Mic at the Headhouse Cafe (122 Lombard St.) Sign-ups begin at 7:30 with the mic kicking off at 8:00. Tight Six, “an open mic for stand-up, sketch, characters and more” begins this Sunday at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St.) sign-ups at 8:00, and the mic starts at 8:30.

If you have any Philly comedy news worth mentioning – send it our way with an email to

No Bottoms On: Interview with Dave Terruso of The Pornologues

Porn is everywhere. In fact, the idea that you are in front of a computer right now and reading this instead of looking at porn is somewhat amazing. Unless you have multiple windows open and you are reading this and watching porn at the same time, then I commend you for your multitasking skills. But you should pause the movie and focus on reading, because Dave Terruso has figured out everyone’s dirty little (no-so-much-a) secret – that all of us have some sort of experience with porn. All of us might not be comfortable talking about it and sometimes that makes for great comedy. This Wednesday night at L’etage Dave and some of the best comedians in Philadelphia will go on stage and talk about all things porn at The Pornologues. We caught up with Dave to ask him some questions about what you might find hidden underneath his mattress.

WITOUT: Do you think that porn is one of those things that almost everyone has a funny story about but might be embarrassed to talk about openly? Have you ever bonded with new or old friends over porn stories? Is this the purpose of the show?

DAVE TERRUSO: I think that all stories about watching porn are inherently funny when you think about them. Most likely you’re sitting in a computer chair with no bottoms on. Or you’re on your couch with no bottoms on. Or you’re in an internet cafe with no bottoms on. Even if you’re not touching yourself, you’re watching two people bonking, which is weird. So I think everyone has a funny story about watching porn, I just bet they don’t realize the stories are all funny.

Yes, I love to talk to good friends and total strangers about their porn experience, and their sexual experiences in general. The part of your brain that makes these intimate bits of information embarrassing, I was born without it. The reality of life is that we all get naked and make our genitals hum. It’s unavoidable. So why keep it a secret? In comedy and in life I gravitate toward the universal truths that unite us. I have no problem telling a bunch of people an embarrassing story about me ejaculating. I do it onstage. I do it at parties.* That’s just who I am. And that’s who many comedians are. Most of us were born without that embarrassment part of our brains.

This show was created from just such a conversation. I was at the bar at Helium talking to Ryan Carey (host of the PORNOLOGUES) and Alex Pearlman (one of the performers). We were talking about how kids today have it so easy because of the internet; they don’t know how to scavenge like we did. Life before internet porn was our version of The Great Depression. And other people around us started adding to the conversation and we were all laughing so hard. We realized there was something to this idea and that it should be a show.

*I should make it clear that I talk about ejaculating onstage and at parties. I don’t physically ejaculate at those places.

WO: Tell us about your first experience with porn?

DT: I do talk about my first experience with porn in the show, but that wasn’t really a porn, it was THE HONEYMOONERS. (What the heck do I mean? You have to come to the show to find out. It’s only $15.)

The first time I saw a porn movie was in seventh grade. I was at my friend Sal’s house. It was me and my best friends, Sal, Marc, Joey, and Matt (real names– sorry, guys). This was not the first time my friends had watched a porn in my presence. But the other times I hadn’t watched. I went into my friend Sal’s room and played video games because I thought porn was immoral. I really wanted to be a priest at the time (seriously, I wanted to be a priest until I was 14). They called me Father Dave for not watching porn with them. But this time they convinced me to watch it for the comic value. And it WAS funny as hell. And I didn’t expect that. The dialogue was so silly. The scene I remember was this woman in a restaurant talking to a man. They were both wearing business suits. And she said “Are you gonna fuck me, or am I gonna have to beat my meat?” And we all lost our minds at how funny it was to hear an adult woman say that phrase. Other than that, I remember how utterly uncomfortable it was to have a boner in front of a bunch of guys. I covered it with a pillow. (To this day I do not like to have a boner in front of other men. Going to a strip club? Guess who won’t be coming: Father Dave.)

WO: Porn and comedy seem to be forever connected. What do you think it is about the two that links them together?

DT: I’ve always wondered when jokes found their way into porn. Could it have always been that way? Did it happen when those weird Victorian porn stories first got written? I think it stems from the release of joy that happens during sex. It’s endorphin overload, and giddiness leads to spontaneous laughter. When you’re pounding your girlfriend, once you’re really comfortable with each other, things make you giggle. You keep it serious when you first start dating because you want them to be turned on. But eventually one of you will accidentally make a fart sound with your mouth against the other person’s thigh or butt or ballsack. And then it becomes okay to be silly. You crack jokes. Part of it is because it’s just funny to be naked in various Greco-Roman wrestling positions with another person. It brings you back to your animal state. No clothes. No social mores. You become a couple of feral cats playing with leaves in a forest, except the leaves are covered in pubes.

WO: What are some of your favorite stand-up bits or sketches about porn?

DT: I can’t think of a single bit that’s specifically about porn. Weird. I know there are plenty I’m blanking on. I love Dave Attell, he does a lot of it, but I can’t think of a single bit of his to reference.

It’s not technically about porn, but Patton Oswalt’s bit from Werewolves and Lollipops about cleaned-up filth in his own jokes for TV always kills me: “I’m gonna fill your hoo-ha with goof juice” never gets old.

Louis CK does a great bit on Word about how porno actors work so hard that if we put them to work doing something altruistic the world would be a better place. If only dudes could get off on seeing people do charity work: “Ohh, yeah, giving those kids a chance! Ahhh, that’s fuckin hot!”

I love the Kids in the Hall skit where the Chicken Lady calls a phone sex hotline.

And Boogie Nights, though a great art house film, has 45 minutes of the funniest lines and observations about porn ever assembled. To name just one: “I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That’s just me. That’s just something that I enjoy. ” Thank you, Paul Thomas Anderson.

WO: Did you pick the line-up for the show based on material the comedians already have about porn, or a gut feeling like they’d be masters on the subject? If so, what made you think so?

DT: I wanted a real spectrum of the porn experience. I had a pool of hilarious comedians in my mind who I knew wouldn’t mind working blue, and from those I picked ones that fit different parts of the spectrum. So my first thought was How do I dice up porn? First, by era: magazine/VHS, then slow-loading JPEGs and MPEGs, then streaming porn. Kensil is old enough to remember the 70s and 80s. Pearlman has a great bit about waiting for a JPEG to load. And Joey Dougherty is young enough to not remember a time before streaming porn.

I wanted to have people talk about gay porn, married men and porn, black porn, what women watch and read, etc. So I filled each of those slots with someone who cracks me up. (I just said “filled each of those slots” and “cracks” in the same sentence. You’re welcome.) Some of them I picked because I’ve heard them be really dirty, like Darryl Charles and Juliet Hope Wayne, but for most of them I haven’t heard them be filthy, and knowing that they will be filthy in this show is an exciting prospect. And Mary Radzinski suggested Timaree Schmit to me, telling me that she has her PhD in Human Sexuality. That added a category I hadn’t thought of: the expert opinion.

WO: Ted Bundy blamed his addiction to porn for his violence and once said: “I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception, without question, every one of them was deeply involved in pornograpy.” What would you have to say to Ted Bundy?

DT: Ted, I have watched thousands of hours of porn. Defiled a million tissues. And I have never struck a woman. Unless she wanted me to because we were having rough-times sex.

Ted, most killers are loners. Everyone is somewhat into porn, or at the very least naughty thoughts. Loners are obsessed with porn because it’s their only outlet for a simulacrum of human intimacy. But most loners are just nerds, not killers.

Ted, I bet every single man who perpetrates violence against women is deeply involved in eating pizza. Are you suggesting that we outlaw pizza? Are you suggesting that pizza has blood on its hands? That’s not blood, Ted, that’s sauce. Don’t be crazy, Ted.

Oh, you can’t help being crazy? That was actually insensitive of me to say? Well, I apologize.

Hey, Ted, do you need help getting that couch into that van? You probably can’t do it yourself with your arm in a sling. Here, let me get the front end of that for you…

WO: On the other hand, defenders of porn (like Dirk Diggler) say that viewers can use it as a learning tool. What have you learned about comedy from porn?

DT: [Dave Terruso has been missing for the past 24 hours. If you have any information about his whereabouts, please come to L’Etage at 8:30 on October 10.]

THE PORNOLOGUES are (as the robot filling in for the missing Dave Terruso just said) this Wednesday, October 10, at L’etage. Tickets can be purchased online.

If you have an upcoming event you’d like to see profiled on Witout, please send your information to

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 52

Last night, the seventh annual Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Aaron Hertzog, Joey Dougherty, and Paul Easton moving on to the semi-finals. The competition continues Sunday, July 29 and the opening round continues until August 13 (full schedule here).

Submissions for Philadelphia’s Comedy Month are now open. Interested groups can apply for the 8th annual Philadelphia Improv Festival (November 7-11, 2012) and the 5th annual Philly Sketchfest (November 12-17,  2012) online. More details on the month-long City Spotlight will be available later. Early submission ($20) for groups is open until until August 17 and the final deadline ($30) is August 31.

This Wednesday, Camp Woods Plus returns for another show at L’etage (624 South 6th St. Philadelphia) This month’s show will feature the debut of Philadelphia sketch duo Tap City along with New York group Listen, Kid! As always, the show will feature brand new material from Camp Woods.

Also this Wednesday, comedy variety show Accidents Will Happen returns to Adobe Cafe (1919 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia) for a night of stand-up from Jim Grammond, Omar Scruggs, John Nunn, Rachel Bensen, Lisa Yost, storytelling from Jamie Fountaine, sketch comedy from The New Dreamz and “Black Metal Legend” Necrosexual. The show is free and begins at 9pm and is followed by an open mic at 11.

This Saturday, The Sideshow makes another appearance at The Arts Parlor (1170 South Broad St. Philadelphia). The show will feature improv from Chaperone, Hot Dog, and Iron Lung as well as clowning from Kristen Schier. The show begins at 8pm and is $5.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 42

Signups have started for Helium Comedy Club‘s 2012 Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest. Past winners of the title include David James, Steve Gerben, Kent Haines, Anton Shuford, Doogie Horner and Tommy Pope. Preliminary rounds for this year’s contest run from June 3rd through September 9th. Contestants must be from the Philadelphia area and perform between four and half to six minutes of original material. Comedians can sign up online by clicking this link.

This Tuesday at L’etage Polygon Comedy Celebrates their birthday with a show featuring Jimmy Viola, Beirdo, Dream Machine and Kait & Andrew. Doors open at 7:00 and the show begins at 8:00.

Wednesday brings another edition of Mayor Karen Presents in which the PHIT House Team hosts a show of stand-up, improv and music. This week’s performers include New York stand-up comedian Erin Judge, PHIT House Team Hey Rube, and a surprise musical guest.

Also this Wednesday Philly Sketchfest presents: Characters – a night of character based sketch comedy at Helium Comedy Club. The show is a fundraiser for this year’s sketch fest and will feature performances by Animosity Pierre, Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez, Bing Supernova, Hillary Rea, Rob Baniewicz, and The Feeko Brothers.

Camp Woods Plus returns to L’etage Thursday with a show featuring all new material from Camp Woods plus sets from New York sketch group Unisex and Philly’s own ManiPedi.

Speaking of ManiPedi – this Friday the sketch group is holding their own fundraiser for their trip to the 2012 Ladies Are Funny Festival in Austin, Texas. ManiParty will feature performances from Aaron Hertzog, Brendan Kennedy, Mary Radzinski, The Kristen and Amie Show and ManiPedi themselves. They will also be auctioning off items (which you can bid on here via email) and having a bake sale. $10 gets you into the show, all the beer you can drink, and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped them get to Austin.

This Saturday at Connie’s Ric Rac The Chris Gethard Show comes to Philadelphia. The show, dubbed NY is Better than Philly will feature a series of competitions between Chris Gethard’s crew of New York Comedians and Gregg Gethard‘s squad representing Philly. The Philly team consists of Brendan Kennedy (Man’s Man Competition), Aaron Hertzog (Freestyle Rap Battle), Ian Vaflor (Music Competition) Alex Gross (Dance-off) and Mike McNeil (Sports Trivia). Tickets for the event can be purchased online.

Tonight: The Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia Contest

Tonight at the Shakespeare Theater Philly Sketchfest will continue a tradition started in 2007 at Don Montrey‘s Die Actor Die – The Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia contest. Sketch groups from Philadelphia and beyond will gather to perform their filthiest, most disgusting, most depraved sketches in order to gain the hearts and minds of the audience and win the grand prize, along with the bragging rights of being the dirtiest minds in a group of supremely dirty minds. Defending champions The Feeko Brothers will take the same stage they actually vomited on last year, along with two-time champ Secret Pants, Camp Woods, out-of-towners Angel Yau and Thunderstood, Philly stand-up Joe Mayo and more. To make sure you know what you are getting into, we’ve put videos of some of the previous Dirtiest Sketch winners (and Secret Pant’s second place finish from last year) below. Enjoy.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 21

Comedy Month continues this week with the fourth annual Philly Sketchfest. Performing this year will be local favorites The Feeko Brothers, Camp Woods, Hate Speech Committee, Secret Pants, and Animosity Pierre as well as out of town acts including Angel Yau, The Chris & Paul Show, Last Call Cleveland and more. The full schedule, along with tickets can be found online.

There’s been a good bit of media coverage for comedy month. Articles have been written about the three week long string of festivals by  The Philadelphia Inquirer, The AV Club Philly, Philly Weekly, and Citypaper.

The QComedy Fest is also set to take place this week with shows at various venues around the city including The Philly Improv Theater at The Shubin Theater, Tabu Sports Bar & Lounge, and Club Voyeur. The festival will be headlined by Alec Mapa, of Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty fame.

Doogie Horner’s Ministry of Secret Jokes returns again this week with a show featuring new videos from Secret Pants and Joke Summer School and stand-up from Chris Cotton, Alex Grubard and Trey Galyon.

Brian Posehn is coming to Philadelphia to play the Trocadero Theater on Thursday, October 20 at 8:00PM. Tickets can be purchased online.